I have posted before about my husband who has intrahepatic bile duct cancer. He was diagnosed in Sept. 2011 with stage 4. Since then we have been going to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. He was on a chemo trial, but was kicked out because his platelets went below a certain level twice. He has the regular gem/cis one time at X-mas time. Scans show no growth. Next he had chemo embolization that targeted a small tumor that was located on the border of the 2 lobes. Later he had radioembolization to attack the large tumor. MRI showed that the radioembolization killed about 1/3 of the big tumor. The chemoebolization did nothing to the small tumor.
About 8 weeks after the radioembolization my husband started turning yellow. To make a long story short cancer has spread to the smaller lobe. He had another MRI.
The oncologist read to us the report from the radiologist. Since his b-rhythems are so high no more chemo or radiation can be done. The only alternative is to put in an external drain. The problem is that so many bile ducts are now compromised. The question is what bile duct to target. We were also warned of infections these drains can cause.
I am under the impression they are certain they can bring down his b-rhythms for more therapy. But a drain would help with his itching.
My question to you all is it worth it to put in a drain with all the complications that can arise. The past few days the itching has really been bad. The doctor prescribed Doxepin and the short acting oxycotton. The didn't really help. Yesterday I gave him the Doxepin in the morning and a few hours later 2 tramadol. That really put him to sleep, but he woke up without much scratching.
At this point in time, my husband deoesn't want the drain if it won't reduce his liver enzymes enough for more treatment. My question is what medication is there out there to relieve the itching?
Another question is the drain with all its side effects worth it to relieve the itching?
I am waiting for a call from the Mayo for an appointment with the radiologist for him to explain the chances he has of putting in a exterior drain with bag that would work. His report sounded rather negative.
Can anyone on this forum that has had experience with an external drain on a bile duct inside the liver? I searched for forum for this answer, but didn't see anywhere from anyone about the location of the drain.
The doctor explained that there are many bile ducts that drain into the main bile duct. The radiologist would have to make a good educated guess on what bile duct to target that would drain the most bile. He can't put the drain in the main bile duct. I also must add that my husband had cerossis of the liver. The most drinking he did was in college. I can't remember the last time I saw him have a beer.